MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — At a time when more children are getting sick, fewer pediatric hospital beds are available to treat them.
“It’s been a long and exhausting ultramarathon for us,” says Dr. Rahul Koranne, CEO of the Minnesota Hospital Association.
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Koranne says staffing is just one component contributing to the state’s limited children’s beds.
“They are tight. It’s because we see large volumes of medical, we see, you know, viruses in our community,” said Koranne.
M Health Fairview cites respiratory illnesses, winter viruses such as RSV and mental health crises as factors that keep the system extremely busy.
Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare has been accepting pediatric transfers when they can in recent months, due to a lack of beds elsewhere.
Children’s Minnesota would only say they have beds available for patients who need them.
dr. Koranne says COVID-19 is contributing to this, along with delayed procedures, and capacity is constantly evolving. And he warns that patients with chronic illness should be especially vigilant during this crisis.
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“Make sure they seek care, stay connected to the primary care provider, and follow their guidance,” said Koranne.
He says there are things people can do to reduce the load on the overall system.
“Let’s do what the CDC and the Department of Health tell us. Let’s make sure we wear the masks, we social distancing, stay home when you’re sick. If you qualify, get the vaccine,” he said.
WCCO is told that triage plans are in place in the event of an increase in pediatric patients. Sometimes it can mean waiting longer for the emergency room.
Here’s more of what M Health Fairview had to say:
Like any hospital in the state, hospitals in the M Health Fairview system are currently very busy for three main reasons: an increase in COVID hospitalizations, an increase in delayed procedures that are increasing rapidly, and a staff shortage. The staffing problem is not unique to M Health Fairview or the state of Minnesota, nor is it unique to health care. There is an economy-wide labor shortage. If we don’t have the staff to take care of the patients, it means we can’t take care of that many patients safely.
We are also seeing an increase in mental health crises, respiratory illnesses and other classic winter viruses such as RSV, contributing to hospitalizations among children.
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The COVID vaccine is the most powerful tool we have to protect ourselves from serious illness, and we urge everyone of age to get vaccinated. Health systems are now faced with the “pandemic of unvaccinated” and unvaccinated people are rushing to hospitals for care, despite denying themselves the chance to avoid COVID in the first place by providing a safe and effective vaccine. to get. Healthcare personnel are sworn to care for every patient who needs us, and we will continue to do the work that is asked of us, despite the obvious steps people could take to relieve the pressure on the health care system.